A Russian national has been sentenced to four and a half years in jail. According to authorities, the Russian used the complex malicious Citadel malware to harvest from thousands of computers banking information of people.
In this mega crime scheme that affected more than 11 million computers globally, Dimitry Belorossov, aged 22 admitted to playing a role. In this $US500 million ($NZ786) computer fraud, Dimitry who is from St Petersburg pleaded guilty in July 2014 to one count for his role. He was extradited from Spain in 2014.
Thomas Thrash, a US District Judge in Atlanta passed the sentence. Dimitry is also required to pay at least $320,000 in restitution. According to defendant’s lawyer Arkady Bukh, Dimitry committed the crime when he was just but a teen and had since pleaded guilty to show that he has taken full responsibility of his actions.
Mr. Bukh wrote in an email that after taking getting credit for the time which Dimitry had spent in custody, he would be spending slightly more than a year behind bars. “It was a long battle”, Arkady intimated.
Citadel was engineered to capture all banking and credit card information from a computer. The malware which was first detected in 2011 had the capability of blocking antivirus software installed in computers.
Hackers would send spam emails or something else which had malicious attachments which contained the malware. In 2012, Dimitry Belorossov used the alias ‘Rainerfox’ and downloaded one version of Citadel. According to US authorities, he managed to access more than 7,000 computer systems.
The efforts of the FBI, Microsoft Corp and several authorities in a number of countries started a hunt for the malicious Citadel malware in 2013. The attack efforts by the authorities helped identify and dismantle the computer networks used by the Citadel gang. Microsoft Corp announced that it had managed to free more than 5 million computers off the malware.
By the time Citadel ring was getting dismantled completely in 2013, it is believed that it had managed to steal more than $500 million from a number of financial institutions. According to Microsoft, among the companies affected include Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase & Co Express Co.